Bissell Buzz 2016/17

The Highway 36 Treasure Hunt held this past weekend had me find my own treasure – I finally secured my own copy of Dr. Mary Glassen’s book “How to sleep on a windy night”.  I noticed a few more copies that were offered during the weekend and hope they were grabbed by some appreciative readers.

Alvin McCoy wrote in the Sunday edition of the Kansas City Star on August 23, 1942 about this remarkable doctor that dedicated her career to the people of Phillips County.  His article is republished in the book under the headline: “Dr. Mary proves that now a woman can be a physician and meet no prejudice.”  Often a visitor to the Fort will stop at her display and announce: “She delivered me!”  It is no wonder that this happens often, as she delivered more than 4000 babies in Phillips County during her career.  Most of these were home deliveries, making this statistic even more remarkable.  One visitor told the story of how he and his wife walked past Dr. Mary and received a free consultation right there on the sidewalk.  Dr. Mary said he should bring his wife in to see her immediately as she was anemic.  Her passing by diagnosis proved to be spot on when rechecking it back in her practice.  They were not her patients, but they were from that moment on. It really is precious to still hear first-hand stories about this doctor who really cared about the people and community.  The book was published when she was 68 and at that age she was still seeing an average of 50 patients a day, delivered babies and made house calls.  How different things are today in the medical field.

This is a final reminder about our fourth annual Chili Cook-off fundraiser that will be held on September 25th.  This will be a fun event with music being provided by Cowboy Bob.  Our Blacksmith shop will be in operation and our photo booth will also be available with a professional photographer to capture those special fun moments!  This is our only fundraising event for 2016, so please come and join us.  Entrance is by Free Will Donation.  Farmer’s National Bank have pledged to equal the amount of donations up to the first $1000.  A hearty thank you in advance for that support!!  Funds raised will go towards the repair of the roofs of our schoolhouse and general store – which both lost a lot of shingles during the past season’s storms.  In the event of rain, we will relocate to the 4-H building north of town.  So remember to roll up between 5pm. and 7pm. at the Fort – looking forward to seeing you there!

Our season for 2017 will officially open on Memorial Day, but school tours can be arranged to take place before that.  We want to encourage the schools to bring their pupils to come and enjoy learning about history that happened here where they live.  Regular updates and photos will still be posted on our Facebook page.  We can be contacted on 785-543-6212 or on email at

Ruby Wiehman – Curator